One of the more unfortunate realities surrounding the billion-dollar franchise that is the MCU is the startling truth that a lot of the people who create the comics that serve as the MCU’s foundation rarely receive worthwhile compensation from the powers that adapt their work.
Famed Hawkeye artist David Aja is joining a growing list of creators who have expressed frustration over this issue that seemingly continues to be unrectified behind the scenes. Last night, a brand new poster for the Hawkeye series was revealed, paying homage to one of the iconic posters Aja drew for his seminal Hawkeye run with Matt Fraction. Aja had this to say about Marvel Studios’ recreation of his work:
David Aja‘s artwork on his run with Matt Fraction is arguably the most important selling point of that run. From his distinct minimalist covers to the inventive visual storytelling methods he brought to the table, there’s no doubt that the book wouldn’t be the classic it is without his touch.
Winter Soldier creator Ed Brubaker recently made waves over complaints he made regarding the issue in light of Marvel Studios building a very lucrative franchise based on his work. The check Marvel Studios allegedly gave Brubaker for adapting the Winter Soldier story was a lot lower than the royalties he received for his 1-second cameo in the movie. Howver, according to Brubaker, Marvel has since reached out to him, likely due to the high publicity of his comments, with the hopes of amending the issue.
The issue is a highly complicated one, given how all the work-for-hire contracts that a lot of these creators signed were drafted at a time when comic adaptations weren’t the world’s hottest commodity. Still, in an era where the studios are making billions off these people’s work, reasonable compensation should not be an issue. We hope Aja and more creators get compensated for their contributions to the MCU.